Manic Street Creature

Manic Street Creature

Seen at Edinburgh Festival Fringe on the 6th of August 2022

5 stars – If psychiatry were a musical

Ria has a new life in front of her: moving to London, making music, starting anew. Meeting Daniel is part of the fun, their dating unexpectedly growing into a relationship. Despite his nightmares, despite his restlessness and his hardly comprehensible reactions, Ria falls in love with him.

Signals of mental health issues insinuate themselves into their relationship like it happens in real life: quietly. So much as to allow the initial performance of denial. The clinical jargon enters the script softly, mingling into the play’s poetics, as if it had always been there, as it gradually reveals patterns and uncovers ancient traumas. Musical quotations contribute to situating feelings into a broader field of human experience.

The play proceeds as the behind-the-scenes of a melodic rock album recording. Maimuna Memon (Ria) and Yusuf Memon demonstrate their multi-instrumental ability, while Rachel Barnes provides the essential dramatic tones of the cello. From track 1 to 9, the story develops from peaks of happiness to pits of despair. The composition, which alternates classical and disruptive moments, is the mould for the couple’s feelings and their demons, as well as for Maimuna Memon’s astonishingly rich voice.

Great merit has to be recognised to the play, not only for the player-performers’ abilities, but also for bringing on stage the theme of mental health in such an accurate, understanding, and accessible way. It does it without being pedantic nor documentarist, while pushing the aesthetical dimension to that of a dramatic masterpiece.

Aug 7-8, 10-15, 17-22, 24-28; h. 15.55

Running time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Venue 26: Roundabout @ Summerhall

Tickets and Info:




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